An Orange County Almanac – Collection of Essays

Language is one of our greatest art forms. Language is not only a tool of communication and persuasion but it is also a cognitive tool – saying things or writing about them helps us understand. This collection of essays uses language to its full force to examine issues related to our environment. Many of the …

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The World is Made of Local Lives – Catherine Nelson

Catherine Nelson has created some remarkable images. Her digital images made from combinations of hundreds of photographs create a globe on which are superimposed constructed images of local landscapes and habitats. The statement “Think Global. Act Local” has become such a cliché that it has lost all meaning. Yet Nelson’s images bring it back to …

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Nature Through Kids’ Eyes – Der Spiegel Competition

The German newspaper Der Spiegel recently ran a competition asking kids to submit photographs related to nature and the environment. The winning photographs are interesting for many reasons – as is the framing of the competition itself. The full gallery can be seen online. For this short commentary I have picked three images which, to …

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Squirrel Suicide by Maurizio Cattelan

  In this blog I usually review an artist’s body of work rather than a single work. However, Maurizio Cattelan‘s squirrel installation shown above struck me as worth reviewing as a single work on its own. The installation shown above is from 1996. It shows a squirrel slumped dead over a kitchen table in what …

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Giuseppe Penone – Nature and Culture

Giuseppe Penone is a renowned Italian Artist who works in the Arte Povera tradition. He has long been interested in exploring the inter-relationship between nature and culture. A tree within a tree (above) shows us a tree form carved within a real tree trunk leading us to question what is natural and what is artifact …

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Fantastical Scenes – The Digital Art of Erik Johansson

All our civilization is built on the back of nature and natural processes. This is the thought that came to mind when I saw the above image by photographer and digital artist Erik Johansson.  Johansson describes himself rather modestly: “I’m a photographer and retouch artist from Sweden. I use photography as a way of collecting …

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Man and Landscape – The Photography of Jean-Paul Bourdier

What is our Human relationship with the Earth and with the landscape? The visually stunning and varied work of Jean-Paul Bourdier leads us to wonder about this question. His images of body-painted models in stark landscapes are striking and generate many different emotions. First of all there is no doubt that the images are creative …

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The Surreal Sculptures of Myeongbeom Kim

Surreal imagery has some kind of irresistible attraction for most of us. Myeongbeom Kim’s sculptures are surreal. They combine elements that don’t normally belong together and, in doing so, often grabs our attention. Having trees as immense antlers make the deer above look majestic. It takes us a couple of seconds to work out that …

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Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin

Magical realism is brought to the cinema in this recently released, haunting and captivating movie that I watched earlier today. Much of the impact of the film is purely sensory. Cinematography that creates beauty out of misery; a 6 year old actress who is as captivating as the most accomplished Hollywood diva; enchanting  music that …

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The Meaning of Nature Photography

I am in the final stages of touring round the Western part of the United States. One thing has been very noticeable during my trip – the large number of galleries selling nature photography and seemingly doing well at it. Nature photography has not changed in its nature for decades. People have got better at …

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